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Friday, July 21, 2006

NEWS - Pakeha Role In Reo Revival

Maori language commission chief executive Haami Piripi says Pakeha have a major role to play in normalising te reo Maori in New Zealand.Mr Piripi says he was encouraged by the fact many the 170 people who turned out for the official launch of Maori language in Wellington this morning were Pakeha.

He says many Pakeha are committed to the widespread acceptance of the language by supporting concepts such as bilingual signage, and encouraging the use of te reo in the workplace.Mr Piripi says Pakeha need to feel New Zealand's Indigenous language belongs to them too.

“The language is already become a signature of our nationhood through the haka and other events. Probably 20 percent of those there today were Pakeha people. That’s what will really make it a true language of the nation, when Maori and non-Maori start to speak it naturally and normally as and ordinary everyday language. We’re a long way from that really, but with the right kind of support we can achieve that,” Piripi said.

Haami Piripi says Maori Language Week is a time for everyone to have a go at using Maori words, even if their pronunciation isn't spot on.


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